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Showing posts from October, 2018

Awkward Unleashes Beastie Boys Remix Album POSSE IN EFFECT 1 & Vulture's BEASTIE BOYS BOOK Excerpt (Ghost Locust Music)

Posse In Effect 1 by POSSE IN EFFECT
Not entirely unlike Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib, Egon & John Doe, dj BC, Jeremiah Jae, and TT5BR before him, Awkward has unleashed a 10-track collection of Beastie Boys remixes fittingly called POSSE IN EFFECT 1. Awkward is a UK-based producer/emcee/artist/DJ with affiliation to Los Angeles crew The Cloaks and Bristol's Ghost.Locust Music. He has previously worked with clipping. The Kleenrz, Nocando, Open Mike Eagle, Self Jupiter (Freestyle Fellowship,) Third Sight, Zackey Force Funk, and Malakai's Stepchild AKA Stepasaur. We, here at The Witzard, actually, first heard about Awkward after he mastered Roughneck Jihad's recent compilation album, The Red Herring Mixtape. In conjunction with Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz & Michael "Mike D" Diamond's newly-released memoir, BEASTIE BOYS BOOK, Awkward has collected 10 choice cuts from throughout The Beasties' storied three decades-long career. Said Beasties remixes…

G​-​Pek, Brycon, DJ Eons One, Yelir & B​.​I. Lectric Return with Annual "Halloween Beat Tape" There's No More Room In Hell (Part 4)

G-Pek, Brycon, Eons One, Yelir & B.I. Lectric - There's No More Room In Hell Part 4 by Brycon
It's that time of year wherein artists unleash festive freebies, ghoulish get-downs, and Horror-filled haunts. Yes, we're talking about seasonally-appropriate Halloween-themed/centric releases! San Francisco producers, Bay Area beatsmiths, and Gurp City affiliates G-Pek & Brycon returned with the fourth installment of their annual Halloween beat tape, There's No More Room In Hell Part 4; this time, recruiting like-minded producer buddies DJ Eons One AKA Dan Lactose, Yelir, and B.I. Lectric for their ghoulishly good time. Studio Don, a mysterious entity, somehow affiliated with the series, explains: "for the last 4 years, Gurp City producers G-Pek & Brycon have been assembling a nightmare soundtrack for Halloween revelry and inviting one more beat-maker homie to join in every year. This year, the legendary B.I. Lectric AKA Big Shawn of Bored Stiff joins the ros…

All-around Breakdown: The Skull Eclipses' Producer Botany Pens PENUMBRAS "Beat Album" Track-By-Track Breakdown (Western Vinyl)

"A penumbra is the space between the shade and the light of a partial eclipse, the area that is neither blacked-out nor illuminated fully. More broadly, the word is defined as something that surrounds or enshrouds a region or object. Like this twilit fringe between being and non-being, the production of Spencer Stephenson—known for his output under the name Botany—gives shape and circumference to The Skull Eclipses' self-titled debut.​ PENUMBRAS lays bare that album's hybrid scaffolding of ambient Boom-Bap, dubby Jungle, and hauntological sample-collage revealing a multi-faceted beat tapestry unadorned by lead-vocals, standing alone as a full-length listening experience. On ​October 26th,​ Western Vinyl is releasing ​PENUMBRAS by ​The Skull Eclipses​, an album of beats and previously unreleased pieces from the self-titled collaborative debut of producer Spencer Stephenson (​Botany​) and rapper Raj Haldar (​Lushlife​) that featured Laraaji, Open Mike Eagle, and many others…

MANIKINETER Mastermind Carl Kavorkian Curates Ghoulish 22-track "Halloween Playlist for TheWitzard.com" (Exclusive Spotify Mix)

"Hey Carl! So, I was cooking pierogies earlier and made this little mix of your music as MANIKINETER on Spotify. And I was wondering, if you might be interested in making a mix for The Witzard? Maybe, Halloween-themed/tinged and we can include some (or all) of your music as MANIKINETER, as well..." read part of a recent email I sent to Carl Kavorkian a couple weeks ago. The Witzard regulars may, in fact, recognize Kavorkian's name from his recent musical re-birth as Noise Rap behemoth MANIKINETER. He's self-released a staggering three EP's—Mannequin Eater, Missing & Not As They Do—in just two short years, all while fine-tuning his frantic one-man live show. So, lo and behold, now, a matter of weeks later, Carl Kavorkian has hand-selected 22 seasonally-appropriate festive favorites, as part of his exclusive Halloween Playlist for TheWitzard.com. Carl's Halloween mix includes ghoulish selections from everyone from Gravediggaz to George Clinton-led Parliame…

The Witzard Premiere: 80HRTZ's The Misfits "ASTRO ZOMBIES" Remix Feat. DJ Halo On "The Wheels of Steel" (@80HRTZ & @HALO203)

Dennis "80HRTZ" Faria is a musician, beat-maker, producer, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Fall River, Massachusetts. 80HRTZ has been playing with local Southeastern Mass area bands since about 1995; from '95 to around 2004, Faria played bass with a variety of bands including, a 7-piece Hip-Hop crew called Nyhilistx and female-fronted Rock band, Eryss. Since halting his career as a bassist around about 2004 due to severe carpal tunnel, 80HRTZ has largely focused on making music by himself from behind his computer. 80 has either produced or contributed to Portland, Maine emcee BRZOWSKI's New England Gothic, General Surgery, Blooddrive Vol. 1, 2017's ENMITYVILLE, and most recently, his DIG 2 GRAVES split with MC Homeless. Dennis Faria was part of The Witzard's comprehensive Round Robin-style interview in support of BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless' collaborative split, DIG 2 GRAVES on I Had An Accident/Milled Pavement Records. 80HRTZ has hand-crafted neck-…

LEAVING R E CORDS Presents 12-inches of Pleasure: "Anymore" from Flaunt Edwards AKA J.Rocc's The Name Is Flaunt (Stones Throw)

Flaunt Edwards is a long-standing alias of J.Rocc The Funky President. Jason "J.Rocc" Jackson has, over the years, become one of the most world-renown and sought-after Hip-Hop DJ's, turntablists, and producers. One of the founding members of The Beat Junkies, J.Rocc has spent time either playing with or recording alongside artists such as Axel F. with M.E.D. Bumrush Bros. D-Styles Sextet, DJ Spinna, Dirty Fingered B-Boys, J Dilla, Jurassic 5, Madlib, and PSK, as well as being the honorary "third member" of Jaylib. The Witzard, actually, has a very special relationship with J.Rocc, as I've been patiently waiting to hear Jay's long-rumored J Dilla & Michael Jackson mash-up/blend album, SHARE MY BED, for about 10 years now. Although, miraculously, earlier this year, J.Rocc surprise released an 8-track version of SHARE MY BED on his Bandcamp page; along with it, was this quote, seemingly, paraphrased from Dilla himself: "J Dilla once said he was go…

Dinked Records Presents: Run-D.M.C. "Down with The King" Feat. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth 7-inch Re-issue (Artwork Designed By: Ricky Also)

Dinked Records (@dinkedrecords) was established as recently as 2015 and according to Discogs, "aims to put out high-quality 7-inch records with big holes (dinked centres) all 100% officially licensed and re-mastered for vinyl." Around 2016, Dinked launched a sister/sub-label called Random Rap Records to fittingly release "random rap records," such as Souls of Mischief, Boogie Down Productions, and KRS-One. Dinked Records is actively re-issuing and releasing top-notch 7-inches and are currently working on launching The Dinked 45 Club. For their latest archival release, for the first time ever on 45, Dink Records have re-released Run-D.M.C.'s 1993 single, "Down with The King" featuring Rev Run, D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay, as well as Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. First and foremost, Dinked Records' "Down with The King" 45 re-issue cover art was designed by acclaimed graffiti artist and graphic designer Ricky Also from Paintshop Studio. It&#…

OVER EVERYTHING Fronted By Trenton Emcee Ray Strife Unleashes Frantic Debut EP HARD FEELINGS ("Negative" Hardcore)

Hard Feelings by Over Everything
"There isn't much to say. Nothing is OK. We're over it. We are OVER EVERYTHING," is the oft-used mantra of Trenton-based OVER EVERYTHING. A self-described "Negative Hardcore" band, OVER EVERYTHING's line-up consists of frontman Raymond "Ray Strife" Novak, guitarist Erik Monsees, bassist Ricky Scheinder, and drummer Brendan Lipira. OVER EVERYTHING's debut EP, HARD FEELINGS, is Ray Strife's first released piece of work since his April 2018 full-length with producer and frequent collaborator, iLL-Omega, Go for The Gusto. Ray Strife defines "Negative Hardcore" as "a place to get out all the negative sh*t in your life and brain; take the anger and aim it through the speakers! That's what I use it for, anyway" and adds that OVER EVERYTHING may (or may not) have, actually, created the genre. I've personally, been hearing rumblings about OVER EVERYTHING for a year or so now, so with …

Thelonious Monk Quartet's Long-lost MØNK Unearthed from 1963 Danish Broadcasting Corporation Live Tapes (Gearbox Records)

It isn't often we cover posthumous releases here at The Witzard, but honestly, we just couldn't pass up an opportunity to cover Gearbox Records' newly-unearthed 5-track collection, MØNK. World-renown American Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, unfortunately, passed away back in 1982, although, his estate has continually released a slew of previously unissued recordings since his untimely passing. Not entirely unlike similarly-minded "lost" albums John Coltrane's Both Directions at Once, Miles Davis & John Coltrane's The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6, and Monk's own Les liaisons dangereuses 1960, MØNK was initially recorded at a live concert held at Old Fellow Palæet in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 5th, 1963. MØNK features the genre-shaping talents of Thelonious Monk's most widely-acclaimed Quartet: sax player Charlie Rouse, future Sun Ra Arkestra bassist John Ore, and drummer Frankie Dunlop, who all previously appeared withi…

Russian "Skinhead" Reggae/Ska Group The Punchers Unleash Debut EP Punch from The Jungle (Magnetic Loft/Mangy Little Mut Records)

Punch From The Jungle by The Punchers
Not many people know this, but aside from Jamaican Rocksteady/Ska music, Second Wave Reggae, actually, first started in London, England during the 1970-80's with the onslaught of Hardcore/Punk. Oftentimes, known as "Skinhead Reggae," the genre was largely supported and played by non-violent working class youth and was chronicled on a 2002 3-CD collection called Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set. Now, it appears as though Skinhead Reggae is experiencing a comeback, of sorts, in of all places, Moscow, Russia. The Witzard has recently showcased two Russian Library Music/Funk bands, The Great Revivers & The Soul Surfers, but I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard of any Punk/Hardcore-related music coming out of Russia. The artist in question is Moscow-based Skinhead Reggae group called The Punchers and they've just released their first physical release, Punch from The Jungle EP, on Magnetic Loft Records. The Pun…

Boog Brown & Son of Sam's Tom Caruana Announce Boog Brown EP & Release Teaser Single "A Little Light" (Tea Sea Records)

Boog Brown by Boog Brown
Boog Brown is a Queens-based emcee, originally hailing from "Atlanta by way of Detroit." Her last full-length project, The Late Bloom, was released in 2013 on Working Class Music Group with production work from Dynamite Bruhz, Illastrate, Joe D. and Lex Boogie. Since 2010, Boog has released a multitude of projects and has worked with Hip-Hop heavyweights such as Apollo Brown, Live Percenters, L'Orange, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Dillon Maurer as Martha Knuckles—primarily, issued on Mello Music Group. For the last few months, I've been hearing rumblings about a mysterious project called "The Boog Brown EP" with production work from UK-based beat-maker Tom Caruana. Caruana is, of course, the man behind the boards for phenomenal mash-up albums, such as Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles - Enter: The Magical Mystery Tour, Jimi Henrdix vs. Wu-Tang - Black Gold, An Adventure to Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space, okayplayer: The Bollywood Re-make, a…

Unsung Liberates Material from 3 Long-shelved 2002-04 Umm... Albums On Umm... and The Haunted Apartment Comp. (self-released)

umm... and the Haunted Apartment by umm...
Not entirely unlike his last retrospective release, The Station Signal's Collection of Work, West Virginia emcee and producer Unsung (@UnsungTheRapper) has returned with Umm...'s and The Haunted Apartment. Umm... is one of Steven Miller AKA Unsung's many recording aliases I've been hearing about these last few months. Umm...'s and The Haunted Apartment is, essentially, a long-shelved compilation culled from three separate previously unreleased Umm... albums initially recorded between 2002-04: Umm... and The Surprisingly Well Garnished Plan, U Look Like Pumpkin Pie, and Umm... and The Giant Windmill. Unsung self-recorded the albums onto a dusty old 4-track recorder from a friend, while compiling his first and second Hip-Hop albums, Embrace The Shellfish& TWIN, burned onto CD-R's, and passed out to his friends, family, and classmates nestled inside of "folded and staples [pieces] of paper." For the trio of

UncleRussie Presents: Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 [Album Preview] Featuring Benjamin Banger, Action Bastard, Malcolm Maximillion & eu-IV

Just about a year ago, John "Jumbled" Bachman helped link me up with a fellow Baltimore-based producer buddy of his, Timothy "Tim" Chester AKA UncleRussie(@PeaceRussie.) Right around the time Tim. & I first met, he was preparing to release his next project, Trunks EP. which was a 14-track audiophonic examination of Trunks Brief - Past, Present, & Future(?) from Dragon Ball Z. Now, while I'll readily admit, I'm far from a die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan, it's been pretty interesting to learn about the series through a medium I'm extremely familiar with: Hip-Hop! For Trunks EP.UncleRussie recruited a who's-who of The East Coast/Baltimore's finest emcees, singers, and producers to help convey his vision, such as: Benjamin Banger, Dot-Com Intelligence, Swellthy, Action Bastard, TEK.LUN, ONLY, Jumbled, and Drew Scott. Many of you may recognize UncleRussie's name from his submission(s) to The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEF…

BBE Music Re-issues Japanese Jazz Drummer Takeo Moriyama's 1983 VAP Album 'East Plants' (J Jazz Masterclass Series)

East Plants by Moriyama
Takeo Moriyama is an acclaimed 73-year-old Jazz drummer, composer, and musician hailing from Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Moriyama started working as a Japanese Jazz (commonly known as "J-Jazz") drummer during the 1960's, released at least four solo albums between 1981-91, and has appeared within countless albums as part of numerous J-Jazz ensembles and retrospective compilations. Takeo Moriyama has lent his air-tight talents, over the years to groups, such as: Aki Takase Trio, Akira Sakata Trio, Miyazawa Akira Quartet, Brötzmann, Satoh, Moriyama: The Heavyweights, Yosuke Yamashita Trio, and his own Moriyama Takeo Percussion Ensemble & Takeo Moriyama Quartet; in addition to albums credited to Manfred Schoof, Akira Sakata, Yosuke Yamashita & Takeo Moriyama, Takehiro Honda, Nobuyoshi Ino & Takeo Moriyama, Mal Waldron & Takeo Moriyama, Shibuya Takeshi + Moriyama Takeo, and Takehiro Honda, Nobuyoshi Ino & Takeo Moriyama a…

Eminem Unveils Villainous "VƎNOM (Music from The Motion Picture)" Music Video from Tom Hardy's Venom & Kamikaze [Shady Records]

A couple months ago, Eminem surprise released his tenth studio album, Kamikaze, overnight between Thursday, August 30th into the early morning hours of Friday, August 31st with no prior announcement whatsoever. Kamikaze first caught my attention because of its front and back album artwork, an obvious homage to the Beastie Boys' genre-shaping 1986 debut, License to Ill, complete with cleverly scrawled "TIKCU5" and "FU-2" fighter jet tags. An obvious rebuttal to Eminem's widely-loathed and seemingly half-a$$ed 2017 album, Revival, Kamikaze, however, made headlines for homophobic slurs on Justin Vernon-assisted "Fall" allegedly, aimed towards controversial rapper/producer Tyler, The Creator. While, yes, this is unfortunate Em is still using such homophobic slurs in 2018, honestly, is anyone really all that surprised? Not that it makes it right, but Eminem has, unfortunately, been using racial, homophobic, misogynistic, and hateful speech since "…

Foster & The Pranksters Share "Live As It Gets" (Prankster Remix) Feat. Royce da 5'9" from La Honda EP [A Band of Pranksters Publishing]

Foster & The Pranksters are a "Garage Rap"—essentially, Garage Rock + Hip-Hop—band hailing from Jersey City, New Jersey. Foster & The Pranksters consists of frontman Foster The Prankster, guitarist Mike "The Irate Genius" Chowanec, bassist Steve Padelski, and newest member, drummer Chris Stadler. The Pranksters are equally influenced by sharp-spitters, such as Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def, Kanye West, The Roots, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lauryn Hill, as well and Classic/Alt. Rock icons like The Strokes, Jimi Hendrix, The White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Black Keys. Since their 2016 debut single as a group, "Think Me a Fool,"Foster & The Pranksters have garnered a sizable buzz, based on their signature blend of Blues, Hip-Hop, and Rock "N" Roll. Recorded in a marathon 12-hour "one-take" session, Foster & The Pranksters' latest EP, La Honda, is a collection of studio recordings, singles, and B-sides from the band's…

Titus Andronicus Return with Spook-tacular New "Home Alone On Halloween" EP from A Productive Cough Sessions (Merge Records +@)

Home Alone on Halloween by Titus Andronicus
Alright, ladies & germs - now, first and foremost, I don't generally post press statements in full, but this one was, honestly, just too good to pass up: "With Home Alone on Halloween, noted Rock band Titus Andronicus celebrate the spookiest of the seasons by staring into the abyss and confronting the bone-chilling terror, which lies at the haunted heart of our human experience. Bearing the justly feared catalog number "MRG666," the 12-inch EP spans 31 minutes and features three tracks recorded concurrently with the group's most recent full-length, A Productive Cough, offering an Autumnal tableau of dread and decay to complement its LP companion's Springtime visions of re-birth and new possibilities." Essentially, beloved Brooklyn-based Alternative/Hardcore/Punk/Folk quintet, Titus Andronicus (or +@ for short) have returned with their latest seasonally-appropriate offering titled Home Alone On Halloween. +…